Airbnb Rental Tips
We love Airbnb! It is my first go to when we are traveling, it doesn’t matter if it is just the two of us or it is with my 3 daughters, son-in-law, granddaughter and my mom. Right now I am planning a trip with another couple to Europe and we are looking at Airbnb’s for most of our housing. We have booked all over the US, Dublin, London, Lisbon, Barcelona, and Paris.
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The process I use for booking is the same, no matter who is going or where we are traveling. I follow these basic principles to book every stay. Note: we always stay in a lock out – renting the entire space – I am not totally into the “Bed and Breakfast” type of rental. I personally would not share a room either.
Once you have decided on your desitination, investigate and decide a preferred neighborhood or two. It is too easy to go down the rabbit hole looking at all the pretty pictures; you may end up far away from your “ideal fun spot”. You need to focus your search so it matches your goals i.e. shopping, dining, nightlight, museums, etc.
I start with the Airbnb Plus listing and see if one of those work. According to the Airbnb website, Plus listers, among other things must:
“To be eligible for Airbnb Plus, you must meet the following requirements:
- Maintained an average rating of 4.8 over the past year
- Accepted 95% of booking requests over the past year, including instantly booked reservations
- No canceled reservations over the past year (except for penalty-free cancellations)
Additionally, Plus spaces must be:
- Thoughtfully designed in a way that shows your unique style and personality
- Well-equipped with amenities like wifi and coffee
- Well-maintained and clutter-free
- Outfitted with comfy mattresses, high-quality bedding, and plush towels”
Starting with these listings is a great way to guarantee you will have a fabulous experience. If I can’t find an Airbnb Plus listing in my target neighborhood, I continue to the rest of the listings. We have had many great stays in housing that had not yet been upgraded to Airbnb Plus
To being your search on the site, set your filters. The more filters you set, the narrower your search. Set your destination, dates and number of guests. Then use additional filters to further narrow your search. How many beds do you want? how many bedrooms? Bathrooms? Laundry? Pool? Wifi?
I don’t add neighborhoods in the filters. Firstly, they are not all listed and I may find a perfect place on the edge of my neighborhood. The map will populate on your screen and you can shift tit o reflect your desired neighborhood; the listing shown will be within that map area. This is very handy if you want to expand or constrict your search.
Next, go thru the listings shown and quickly review the photos to see if the decor appeals to you. Do you want a balcony? See if the photos show one and also the view; you don’t want to be viewing the house across the alley (ask me how I know!). Do you want multiple bedrooms with certain size beds? What floor do you want to stay on? Save these listing to a wish list you set up specifically for this location. The wish lists are a great tool, particularly if you are visiting more than one city.
After you have done a cursory review. Go to your wish list and give each listing a thorough review. Remove the ones that don’t meet your standards.
Things to look for:
- Beds don’t always mean bedrooms – think bunk room
- Bedrooms may not have a door, it could be a loft or a drape that separates the room
- Bathrooms do not always have showers and/or tubs
- Patios/decks do not always have a view
- Older buildings usually do not have elevators
- TVs are not standard – a must have for my hubby!
- Dishwashers, Washers, Dryers, Coffee maker – are these necessary for your stay?
- If there are more than a few decor photos – it makes me question what they are not showing?
Look at the pictures, they should tell a story. Are the beds nicely made and are they the right size for you? Will the Kitchen, Living Room and Dining Room work for your stay? Do the Bedrooms have doors? What does the front of the building look like? Is there parking? How about public transportation?
Also consider the reviews. They should be recent and well written. You want to see positive comments about the location, cleanliness, ease of check in and responsiveness of the owner. Read between the lines!
You need to consider the Total Cost of the rental, not all rentals have the same fees. You will find Service and Cleaning fees on some rentals – so check the bottom line!
Lastly, after you check out; leave a review for your host. You build credibility with future hosts based by leaving good reviews. Make your review truthful and positive.